When planning a sweater for this year's Junegrass KAL, I wasn't worried at all about having too many natural, light grey, heathered Colorado wool sweaters in my wardrobe. Last year I knit the Junegrass pullover from our first batch and it is one of my favorite handknit sweater of all time. All the neutrals, please and thank you, yes I will make another Junegrass sweater!
Pattern: Sourcebook Cable Cardigan from Norah Gaughan's Knitted Cable Sourcebook
Materials: Junegrass: Batch Two
For this year's sweater, I decided to knit a very different sweater. I'd been eyeing Norah Gaughan's Knitted Cable Source book for a while, because I fell in love with its Sourcebook Cable Cardigan pattern. Upon a closer reading I found that it is a thoroughly amazing book! I love the way Norah added very helpful stockinette stitch equivalents to each cable, which can help you substitute most cables into the pattern of your choice, while keeping the measurements of your project the same.
I loved the original sweater and went with the cables used in the sample pattern, which made it easy to go ahead and get started without having to make any cable decisions. I am now tempted to reknit the pattern and try it with different cables just because I love the finished sweater so much!
The Sourcebook Cable Cardigan is written for chunky Puffin yarn, and since Junegrass is a light DK, I held it double to get gauge. Once I swatched it, I gently fulled the fabric to allow the longwool to bloom and fill out the stitches. The result was just what I was looking for!
I love the large shawl collar of the cardigan, and the easy, oversized shape. This is sure to be a fall and winter favorite, perfect for wearing casual with jeans and over dresses as an almost jacket. The cables kept the knitting interesting, and the sweater knit up very quickly on size 11 needles.
I finished my sweater with five wooden buttons, and I love how they warm up the look a bit. Cozytastic. For these 1.5" buttons I changed the yarnover buttonhole to a 2 stitch buttonhole.
This sweater turned out to be everything I wanted, but I did run into a few spots of trouble with my knitting. Fortunately, no matter what goes wrong with your knitting, it can be fixed! I'm going to give you a peek into my mistakes and tell you how I still made this project a total win!
My first mishap was incorrectly crossing some cables at the beginning of one of my fronts. I didn't notice until I had bound off. Usually, you can drop down a few rows to fix a single cable, but this was too far down to work out well.
Luckily my friend Kate of Kelbourne Woolens was there with an amazing trick to fix a cable after the fact. Uses a darning needle, you recreate a layer of stitches over the original knitting, creating a faux front cable over the incorrectly twisted cable. It's a bit like duplicate stitch. See my instagram post documenting the steps here. Once finished, no one will ever see the mistake cable!
My other issue, was with my sleeve caps. Looking at my pieces laid out, I suspected the sleeve caps were too tall. I went a head anyways and once I set in the sleeves, I found that there was too much bulk at the shoulder. This may have been an symptom of my differing row gauge, I'm not sure, but with the chunky stitches, cables and the bulk of the seam allowance, I knew I needed to make some adjustments.
Instead of unseaming the entire sweater, I carefully undid the seam just at the sleeve cap, unraveled the tops of the sleeve, and picked up right at the beginning of the decrease shaping. I then adjusted my rate of decreasing so that my sleeve cap was about 6 rows, or 1-1/2" shorter. In the last row before bind-off I also chose to leave out the cables, thinking that would help minimize the bulk at the shoulder seam.
My adjusted sleeves are perfect, and I'm so happy I spent the time to make the adjustments. I look forward to wearing this cardigan all winter, both at home in my pajamas and with my holiday garb. It's the cosiest thing in my closet.